The Business Problem
Group Finance teams face increasing pressure for month end reporting to be delivered in shorter and shorter timescales.
Financial numbers must be reliable and survive more thorough scrutiny from increasingly aggressive regulators and stakeholders.
Board packs are becoming the size of small novels with Risk, KPI and other data being collated from spreadsheets and diverse systems.
The need for a shorter time to close is exacerbated by increasing workload and the need to demonstrate thoroughness and proof of process in how numbers were derived.
Our products are pre-connected, e.g.: Risks defined in one place are then visible in the Reporting process alongside the financial numbers.
Using Excel as the 'front end' to our Cloud Database means Finance are able to tweak the logic of their reports expertly and rapidly.
Power BI is pre-connected to all of our data so assembling flexible reporting dashboards spanning Risk and Financials is fast and simple
Our expert support team are always on hand to help build complex reports, accelerate financial close automation steps and more.
Cost - less FTE time wasted on manual cutting and pasting
Time - to Financial Close because of fewer dependencies (waiting for one person to finish working on a required spreadsheet)
Risk – more reliable numbers because of the sophisticated cloud database replacing spreadsheet weaknesses.
Flexibility and agility in the creation of reports means a better financial close faster
Adoption by finance teams because the familiar spreadsheet approach works with their BAU processes
Cloud CFO is a product containing 3 pre-integrated modules with each one solving a specific business problem in the production of:
- Management Accounts
- Scenario Forecaster
- Power BI: Financial Risk Modelling
Cloud CFO is differentiated by an extreme flexibility that means delivering customised results is a much faster process.
This speed to final reports happens because the main interface to Cloud CFO is Excel, which of course is familiar to all Finance teams.
This approach makes matters much simpler for our customers; they are very familiar with Excel and therefore already have a foundation with no need to train within a new system.
Primary Financial Statements are generated by consolidating source entity data (Trial Balance or Ledger) to a Group Chart of accounts.
Non-financial data e.g. Risk and KPI can be added into the reporting mix by automated data entry linked from the Clearview module.
Mapping, consolidation adjustments and all other logic needed can be described in native Excel syntax, for example, the built-in reporting is extensive coupled with the ability to extend these reports very considerably with native Excel.
Many functions (e.g.: sum() formulae) are defined in the spreadsheet interface but transparently executed inside the powerful Oracle cloud server. This enables performance scaling, the ability to have thousands of lines of logic executed in a high performance manner.
Customers tell us that Forecasting tools tend to be toys that cannot model their highly complex business characteristics - so they nearly all use complex standalone spreadsheets to solve the problem.
Cloud Forecaster improves upon this problem by the linking the Management Account's closing values into the future for any user defined set of periods e.g. 3 months, 5 years.
The link to the source accounts production system means an unbroken chain exists: forecasts are always up to date and generated in real-time with no risk of data corruption from a standalone spreadsheet.
PowerBI: Financial Risk Modelling
This Power BI module is pre-connected to the Cloud CFO database and comes with pre-defined templates such as Covenant Templates and multiple other Financial Ratios of interest to stakeholders.
FRM connects to the Clearview database to retrieve Non-financial data e.g. Risk and KPI so that reporting is based on a single version of the truth which is always up to the minute - 'no assembly required'.
These non-Financial data increasingly need to be seen by auditors to be documented and have processes in place that prove this e.g.: Risk Controls should have owners and a documented review history.
FRM is therefore the one place to go to get the single version of the truth that unifies Financial and non-Financial data with a contextually intuitive drill down by any time period or dimension.
Many products address the management accounts and forecasting problem using a sophisticated database with a ‘web front end’.
Cloud CFO uses the same ‘back end’ sophisticated database but breaks with tradition by using an Excel ‘front end’ - for flexibility.
Many companies have hugely complex forecast scenarios that involve chains of logic that could not be assembled with a rigid web interface.
They must therefore 'break the chain' by generating Management Accounts and exporting closing values to a spreadsheet. Cloud CFO solves this problem completely; the Primary Financial Statements are generated and immediately drive Management Forecasts for any scenario out to any period - all with an unbroken chain from source accounting system to final reports.
More on Flexibility
Our customers frequently extend their Cloud CFO systems, for example by defining customised amortisation and capitalisation logic that will flow throughout P&L, Balance Sheet and Cashflows.
In a UK example, finance may want to capitalise software development at different percentages for different types of staff (x% for engineers, y% for product management) and then link these calculations to HMRC R&D tax relief cash recovery claims.
This sort of customisation is unlikely to be supported by a US consolidation vendor using a one size fits all web interface approach.